2006: Changing careers from coatings to conservation
After seven years at GE, Breitung wanted to move to New York City. When he saw an ad in C&EN for an art conservation scientist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), he applied: It was a perfect match for his interests in science and art. Breitung didn’t get the job, but he contacted department head Marco Leona to find out how he could work toward this type of job. “He was willing to offer me a fellowship for a year at a huge pay cut from industry.” Breitung took leave from GE.
2009: Working his way through Washington
Breitung returned to GE for seven months before moving to Washington, D.C., to take a job as an art conservation scientist at the Smithsonian. In that position, he identified dyes on textiles from Central Asia. In 2010, he got a job as a senior scientist at the Library of Congress, where he examined materials in magnetic tape and other media. Along the way, he kept in touch with Leona, who became a friend and mentor.
Today: Fulfilling his dream at the MetDo read the whole thing.
In 2015, Leona contacted Breitung when he had an opening at the Met. “He thought I had the right qualifications for the job, and he invited me to apply,” Breitung says....
(Art conservation science seems to be one of those fields where the positions are relatively few and far between? It's probably these particular fields where patient networking is key.)